Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Pochade Box

Pochade refers to a French word meaning pocket, and what artists called small paintings that could be carried in one's pocket. A Pochade Box is a very small portable easel.

Most painting locations I work with are easy to access by car or a short walk. Longer distances with the easel, palette, and brushes are unwieldy. I decided that one of these boxes might come in handy in these situations.

I looked into purchasing a pochade box, but found the basic models too expensive for what they offered. I decided to make my own. I didn't have a lot of time on my hands, so I forgoed building one from scratch. Instead, I went looking for a ready made box that could be adapted easily to the task.

I found this child's tool box at a local second-hand store. With some modifications, it would do a nice job.

The box was stripped of all of its parts and two slots were glued inside.

I cut a small cheap palette to fit inside the box.

A piece of plywood was glued onto the underside containing a threaded fitting. The threads will mate with a tripod mount, so that the box can be set up on location.

There are a couple additional parts to add to my box. For one, the top half should have some kind of locking hinge, so that it can be held open at a desired angle. Adding clamps to hold the artwork in place, would be useful as well. This box can accommodate small pictures under ten inches.  Overall, I'm pleased with the results, and the final product was not expensive.